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Safety First

by Robert E. Cole and Carolyn E. Kourofsky
November/December 2012
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/safety-first/5020875/

When caregivers and teachers of young children think about ‘safety,’ their first thought may be about the classroom environment and mandated regulations, such as having smoke alarms and conducting fire drills. But they can do so much more to protect the children in their care, and those children’s families, by teaching lessons that go beyond the classroom.

Those lessons are well worth teaching, because injuries are the greatest threat to the lives of children under age 6. In fact, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children of all ages, as well as for teens and young adults (all the way up to age 44). They’re also a leading cause of nonfatal injuries that can end in the hospital, sometimes with long and painful recoveries and even with lifelong con­sequences. Many of these kinds of injuries " from fire and burns, falls, poisoning, and drowning " happen most often in the home, where parents and caregivers are least worried about children’s safety.

Risk vs. Perception

One of the greatest challenges in preventing unintentional injuries is that they are so far down on the list of concerns of most parents and caregivers. It’s not that adults aren’t concerned about children’s safety, but often ...

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